Story by John J. Schimming
On Saturday, the Whippet Wrestling team traveled to Jefferson to take part in the Rock Valley Conference Tournament to close out the regular season. This season the conference has some very strong individuals in every weight class which made for some really good wrestling for the fans. Upon completion of the day, the Whippets found themselves in 3rd place as a team behind champion Evansville and runner-up East Troy. Individually, the Whippets had 6 wrestlers finish in the top three of their weight class.
Leading the way for the Whippets was Jimmy DuVal who claimed is his third RVC title in as many years of competing in the tournament. He started the day off with a bye, followed by a pin and closed out the day with a decision 6-2 in the finals. DuVal wrestled very well the entire day, taking one match at a time, and not concerned about the possibility of winning a 3rd title.
Following Duval at 195 was Tyler Sheffield who claimed his first RVC title. Tyler also started with a bye then followed with a pin to reach the finals. In the finals, Tyler defeated his opponent 11-5 in a very well wrestled match doing well in all phases of the match.
The Gamble brothers were able to reach the championship matches but found themselves just short of the title. Tyler Gamble had a quick first-period pin to reach the finals then started off strong against a very tough opponent from East Troy. Unfortunately, the opponent was able to take over and defeated Tyler for his second straight runner-up finish at conference. Cody Gamble started off the day with a hard-fought first-round win. In the semi-finals, he faced the number one seed who had pinned him earlier in the year. Cody came out and got two takedowns directly to his opponents back to build a lead and went on to win 10-6 to reach the finals. In the finals, Cody lost to his East Troy opponent putting him in second place.
Finishing third for the Whippets was Aldo Soto and Arturo Franco. Both of the boys lost tough semi-final matches, Soto 3-2 and Franco 3-1 in overtime. Franco had a great day after that defeating two young men who had defeated him earlier in the season.
The Whippets are next in action this coming Saturday when they travel to East Troy to compete in the regional tournament. The top two competitors from this tournament advance to the next round. Wrestling begins at 10:00 AM.